NJ Politics Digest: How Third Parties Are Influencing NJ Elections

The New Jersey state house.

The New Jersey state house. Kevin B. Sanders for Observer

The New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) led the list of special interest groups spending money to influence public policy, laying out about $8.5 million in independent expenditures in 2017, according to a report by the New Jersey Globe.

The figures come from the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC), which noted that third-party expenditures increased by more than 55 percent between 2013 and 2017, the Globe reported. In all, third-party groups spent more than $41 million in 2017, up from $26 million four years earlier, the ELEC said. The NJEA alone spent $8.5 million in 2017, while the top 12 groups accounted for 83 percent of independent spending in the state, the Globe reports.
The report notes that the 25 groups spent close to $20 million on campaign contributions (68 percent of state totals) and $13 million on lobbying (14 percent of totals), giving an idea of the power of such groups.

Quote of the Day: “Governor, the plane leaves tomorrow. If you’re on the plane, you’re on the team.” — a quote attributed to Steve Bannon in Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White House. The book says Bannon was speaking to Christie following the release of the infamous Access Hollywood tape.

Independent expenditures jump in Jersey
Third-party expenditures continue to rise in New Jersey, jumping by more than 55% between 2013 and 2017, according to a report released by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.
New Jersey Globe Read more

Chris Smith to Colts Neck student: Orphanages are alternative to gay adoption
U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., suggests that children are better off in orphanages than being adopted by gay parents, according to an audio recording of a tense exchange with Colts Neck High School students earlier this year.
Asbury Park Press Read more

There’s more about Christie in Woodward book. He told Trump the campaign was toast, cussed out Bannon.
Chris Christie told Donald Trump his presidential campaign was doomed after video surfaced that captured the then-candidate using expletives and vulgar terms to brag about groping women, according to Bob Woodward’s new book.
NJ.com Read more

Hurricane Florence: New Jersey is still not ready for a major storm
If Hurricane Florence were on its way to New Jersey instead of the Carolinas, it would hit a state that is a bit better prepared to handle a catastrophic storm after Superstorm Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore and river communities in North Jersey six years ago.
The Record Read more

Voters are ‘on fire about politics.’ Why the 2018 midterm elections feel so epic.
Ever since President Trump’s election, Hannah Laurison has had an eye on Nov. 6, 2018.
Inquirer Read more

There’s Money for Upgrading NJ Election Security, But Little For Vital Paper Trail
New Jersey plans to spend $10.2 million to enhance election security over the next several years, but will use only part of it to conduct a small pilot project involving what some experts say is the most important change the state needs to make: moving to a system of paper ballots.
NJSpotlight Read more

$95.7M wagered at NJ sportsbooks in August
Sports betting soared to over $95 million in the month of August, bring the total at New Jersey’s sportsbooks to just shy of $152 million since the state formally introduced legal wagering June 14.
NJBiz Read more

Hunters, Foes Agree Murphy Wrong on Bears (Though Reasons Vary)
At Tuesday’s first Fish and Game Council meeting since Gov. Phil Murphy barred this year’s bear hunts from state lands, the governor came under criticism from both sides of the hunting debate.
NJ101.5 Read more

NJ Towns Pass Laws Against Solicitors
A growing number of communities across the Garden State are giving their residents the option of saying “thanks, but no thanks” to neighborhood solicitors who show up at their front doors.
NJ101.5 Read more

U.S. Department of Education reopens case against Rutgers alleging anti-Semitism
The U.S. Department of Education has reopened a seven-year old complaint against Rutgers University alleging Jewish students were subject to a hostile environment – a move that comes as the department’s assistant secretary for civil rights adopts a broader definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticisms of Israel.
The Record Read more

NJ Sierra Club Campaigns For Electric School Buses
The New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club is taking on a new initiative: Getting school districts to use electric buses.
NJ101.5 Read more

NJ college drinking ban: No hard alcohol for NJ fraternities, sororities after student deaths
A group that represents over 80 percent of fraternities nationwide recently voted to ban drinks with more than 15 percent alcohol by volume at their chapters, according to a report.
Asbury Park Press Read more

A Call for More Apprenticeships in NJ
A new report finds apprenticeship programs can strengthen the New Jersey economy and provide important economic opportunities for lower wage earners, particularly women, people of color and those with disabilities.
NJ101.5 Read more

Chris Christie Drive dedicated in Parsippany to former governor
Riding shotgun in a 1922 Franklin Model 10A sedan, New Jersey’s former governor cemented his legacy in Morris County with the dedication of Chris Christie Drive on Wednesday.
The Daily Record Read more

Murphy leads candlelight walk to remember Middletown 9/11 victims
Gov. Phil Murphy came home to pay tribute to the victims of 9/11 in one of the communities hit hardest by the terrorist attacks: his own.
Asbury Park Press Read more

Tropicana casino’s new owner Eldorado gets temporary NJ OK
Eldorado Resorts was given temporary approval to own Atlantic City’s Tropicana casino, expressing optimism about a growing market rather than nervousness over increasing competition.
Asbury Park Press Read more

Murphy leaving N.J. for a two-day trip to the West Coast
Gov. Phil Murphy is heading to California for a quick trip to discuss climate change.
NJ.com Read more

Ocean County Democrats disavow their nominee for freeholder
The Ocean County Democratic Party has disavowed its own nominee for freeholder, but candidate Teddy Price vows to fight on to Election Day without the organization behind him.
Asbury Park Press Read more

Mayor bows out of reelection bid as his NFL prospects rise
Evesham Mayor Randy Brown said he was confident Burlington County’s most populous town “would remain in good hands” a day after he announced he was taking his name off the ballot in a bid for a fourth term.
NJ.com Read more

Margate: We’re not trying to evict Lucy the Elephant
Is Lucy the Elephant moving out of Margate? Being sent down the road to Atlantic City?
Inquirer Read more

Trump should get USS Pueblo back from North Korea: Ocean County freeholder
Ocean County Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari wrote a letter to President Donald Trump to offer advice in negotiations with North Korea.
Asbury Park Press Read more

Paterson’s part-time ‘clean team’ hits the streets, cleaning city’s commercial zones
Cigarette butts, used straws, scraps of paper and other debris tumbled off the sidewalk and into the gutter as Jeremy Lisowski swept his way along Main Street on Wednesday morning.
Paterson Press Read more

Editorial: Consumers lose in nuke subsidy plan
New Jersey’s nuclear subsidy idea was a loser from the start. Legislators earlier this year bowed to Public Service Enterprise Group’s insistence on financial help from consumers to keep South Jersey nuclear plants afloat – meaning to make them more profitable – and signed off on a $300 million plan.
Asbury Park Press Read more

NJ Politics Digest: How Third Parties Are Influencing NJ Elections